Giving up her previous desire for something a little more warming, Edna succumbs to her new craving, takes the long, thin tube like glass into her hands, and eagerly gulps down a few mouthfuls. The man, who had been watching her very carefully, gave her a rigid smile and started to shred his peach coloured paper napkin.
Encouraged by his smile she shyly looks up at him and makes an attempt at starting a conversation. “My name’s Edna Shanks,” she said with a wide toothy smile, her glasses slid a little down her nose and she pushed it back up with her forefinger.
He hesitated, studied her like one would study a book they’re not sure about then gave a curt, satisfied nod that didn’t seem to be directed at her but rather at someone behind her. She twisted round in her seat and saw the waiter who had served them breaking eye contact with him and busying himself with another customer. “Draco Malfoy,” said the alluringly clear voice.
“Oh it’s okay, I don’t want anything,” she said with a fetching smile, “but it was very sweet of you to ask.”
The man’s brows knitted together in thought then he arched an eyebrow that was a little darker then his hair colour. “If you would like something … please … do not hesitate to ask.”
She tried very hard to prevent the smile that wanted to erupt out of her but couldn’t, like a sunrise it rose with fierce abandon and lit up her face like the sun would a dark sky. Blushing at her volatile behaviour, she managed to check herself somewhat and met his eyes, beautiful grey eyes, so pale that in some lights they paled into the whites of his eyeball, they clamped onto her own russet brown ones and even after she, out of modesty, turned away, those beautiful grey eyes continued to stare at her.
Her handbag began to jiggle slightly and Beethoven’s Appassionata started to play, and loudly mind you, the few people that were eating in the Café turned to see whose mobile it was. Edna quickly unzipped her black, good-sized, able to go with anything, purse and pulled out a chunky black mobile with red and pink Miffy stickers on it, her eyes kept flitting towards him.
“It’s a text, from my mother,” she said out loud, “she wants me to come and help her do the shopping - she can’t drive see, and then I had promised to take her to see the Father - she told him she’d help with the Charity event the Church is running, they need to set a date.” It didn’t even occur to her that perhaps she should not be saying all this to a stranger that she had met mere minutes ago; in fact, to her he didn’t feel like a stranger, it felt like she had known him for eons.
“You’re leaving?” the man asked his brows once again furrowing though that was the only thing about his expression that had changed.
“Oh … umm … yes, I suppose I am,” Edna replied her smile waning into a frown.
“When can I see you again?” he asked seriously with all the confidence of a man who knew she would want to see him.
Her heart swelled to bursting point and she didn’t bother checking the grin that was on her face, after all, who cares if he saw, it was only Draco. “Anytime,” she said hastily, “this is my house number and mobile number,” she said as she wrote it down clearly on a napkin with a pen she had pulled out from her purse, “oh, and this is my address.”
Wandering aimlessly in the men’s toilets was a tall blonde man with blue eyes and dimples that could even be seen slightly when he didn’t smile. He had been in here for the past hour, clutching a large bouquet of red roses although he didn’t know whom they were for or why he was in here.
St Paul’s street was a rural road set in the heart of a quickly urbanising town. Nothing much ever happened here and hadn’t for many a year, not since Dotty Everett, daughter of Barney and Wilma, had announced her decision to become an atheist and that had been before twenty one year old Edna had even been born. It was a quiet road; occupied by well to do middle class white people who went to Church every Sunday, apart from Dotty, her husband and her three children and a nice Asian family from Sri Lanka who had to drive four and a half hours to get to the nearest temple. House number seven, Edna’s house, sat comfortably in between the Cullen‘s, a family of seven with very rowdy children and old lady Brown, a widow who claimed she had lived there since St Paul’s Street was first built. The children of the street often joked that she was so old she was probably there to witness Jesus being crucified.
It was quite late now, the clock had chimed 11:00 o’clock half an hour a go and as usual, the night was dark and bitingly cold, as it often got in England, and the streets were deserted. Nothing stirred in that road, except for a slender figure inside house number seven who kept walking past her window every few seconds.
Edna couldn’t sleep, the tall handsome man with that exquisite dialect just would not leave her thoughts, and he hadn’t called. She could think of nothing but him and wanted to think of nothing but him. “I’m in love,” she whispered with a content smile, “deliciously in love … Mrs Edna Malfoy … oh,” she said with a satisfied sigh, “just wonderful.” Then a terrible thought occurred to her, she hadn’t actually told him that she loved him … which meant that he didn’t know, which would explain why he hadn’t called. What if he never called? What if he left because he thought that she didn’t love him? “I need to tell him!” she whispered in alarm as she ran quickly towards the door. Her movements were erratic and wild, like a hyperactive toddler and her eyes looked oddly glazed and feverous. She barged through the door and ran down the narrow stair case with the squeaky 7th stair that her father had never gotten round to taking care of which she would have normally stepped over.
“Eddy?” a woman’s voice called from somewhere deep inside the house.
“Can’t talk!” Edna screamed back in response as she continued to wind her way down the stairs,
Startled by the desperation in their normally very placid daughter’s voice, Mr and Mrs Shanks quickly came to the front hall where Edna was frenziedly tugging the front door without unlocking it or turning the handle. “Are you going somewhere dear?” Mr Shanks asked in a soothing voice though his wide eyes belied his fear.
“Yes daddy, I’ve got to find him!”
“Who dear? Jonathan?” asked Mrs Shanks adopting her husbands tone of voice.
Edna stopped pulling against the door and turned to look at them, bewilderment plain on her pretty face, “Johnny? No! Draco-”
“Who?” Mr Shanks bellowed swivelling round to look at his wife to see if she might know who this ’Draco’ fellow was, the look on his wife’s face confirmed to him that she didn’t.
“Draco daddy, Draco Malfoy, the man I love!”
“What!” screamed a panicky Mrs Shanks who had grown to love and accept Jonathan over the years and had come to think of him as one of the family. “Simon ask her who this Draco character is!”
“Calm down Amy, and Eddy honey, come and sit down and tell us about this man,” Mr Shanks said a little more commandingly as he held his hand out to his daughter.
“No! Don’t you see, I need to find him now, before he leaves. I need to tell him that I love him. That I can’t live without-” Edna screamed loosing all patience as she began again to pull at the door.
“Eddy!” wailed Mrs Shanks running towards her daughter, pulling her away from the door and shaking her as if in the hope that this would shake some sense into her or at least shake her out of this frenzy. “What about Jonathan? Have you two had a fight? That happens to everyone, that does not mean that you can go find someone else just to make him jealous. That isn’t right!”
“No mummy, Johnny was a - a passing thing. I thought I was in love but I wasn’t. I didn’t even know what love was till I met Draco,” a dreamy look came over her face then subsided almost instantaneously as she focused on the door again. “Why won’t it open? He’s going to leave!” she wailed as she thumped her palms against it.
Mrs Shanks had had enough, “Simon do something!” she wept, “there’s something wrong with her!”
“There’s nothing wrong with her!” shouted Mr Shanks at his wife in fear, then he turned to Edna with as much of a smile as he could muster, “come with daddy Eddy.”
“But Daddy I need-” whined Edna.
“You can see him tomorrow.”
“He won’t be there tomorrow!”
“He will,” said Mr Shanks calmly. Edna looked at him in confusion, carefully pondering his words, “I - I talked to him and told him that you like him … he said he’ll come to our house tomorrow morning.”
A huge smile lit up Edna’s face, “he is?”
“Yep … he is. So you need to get some sleep … our princess needs to look her best doesn’t she … or you’ll have huge bags under your eyes,” Mr Shanks could see that this was working, Edna had stopped throwing herself at the door and seemed distressed at being told that she might have bags under her eyes unless she went to bed. “So come on lovey … lets get you - what the?” And Mr Shanks was right to be surprised for the Shank’s front door had just popped open of its own accord, and his daughter, with a whoop of delight, had ran through it without looking back.
She didn’t have a coat, or shoes or even outdoor clothes. She was running in nothing but her below the knees pastel blue flannel night gown with a smiling pink sunflower on the front. But she didn’t care! How could she when she was running towards her destiny, the man who would finally make her life complete! Behind her two voices were yelling for her to come back and she almost turned around but carried on running when the noise was cut off but the slamming of a door.
“Edna,” a deep male voice called out in a soft but carrying voice that reverberated through her body. She turned around wildly trying to find the man she knew the voice belonged to and found him almost instantly. His beauty froze her and she stopped to drink in the sight of him standing underneath the blinking lamplight that the next door kids had broken a couple of days ago. His tall, lean frame was leaning against it, staring out at her with those icy grey eyes and hair that she could make out even when the light blinked off. “Come here”, she scampered towards him obediently.
“Oh Draco!” she said breathlessly “I knew you-”
“Shhh,” he said as his eyes narrowed a little in annoyance.
“But Draco I have something to tell-”
“Shut up!” he whispered harshly as he looked around them wildly as if worried that someone would see them. She stepped back, a little hurt at his offensive tone.
“Hurry up!” said a voice from somewhere within the darkness that enshrouded the pair. “It’ll wear off soon.”
Draco obviously knew the bodiless voice and its location for he shot a very dirty look somewhere to the right and forced a smile onto his face. “Edna, you love me don’t you?”
“… yes …” she said uncertainly, her body felt strange, it felt as if a fog was dissolving inside her mind and as it did so she began to see things a little more clearly.
“So you want to live with me right?”
“Hurry up,” said the hidden person again a tone of agitation now in his voice.
“I’m bloody trying, will you shut up,” Draco muttered in a slow rather deadly voice that made Edna want to edge back. He turned back to her and shrugged a smile back on, “I’m going to take you to live with me, wouldn’t you like that? All you have to do is hold my hand really tightly and not let go until I tell you to, understand?”
She didn’t understand, moreover … she was frightened. Frightened of what she was doing, or planning on doing, with a guy she had just met today. What had happened to her? She had always been the practical one, one that thought everything out before executing it, how had she gotten herself into this kind of situation. “I …I think we’re rushing into things.”
“It’s no good,” said the hidden voice again, but this time it was getting louder and then he suddenly stepped out of the shadows into the light, “its finished.” Now Edna was even more befuddled then before, for in front of her stood the waiter from the Café, the tall handsome black man who had been wearing that rather effeminate apron.
Draco turned towards him in anger, “you said it would last until twelve, and, unless I am much mistaken, it is not twelve yet.”
“Well maybe you should have made her drink the whole damn thing, eh,” retaliated the waiter.
The pair stared at each other for a few seconds then looked away, “what’s done is done, but don’t make such a mistake again Blaise, now we have to focus on the matter at hand. She isn’t going to cooperate is she?” Draco asked sourly.
Blaise shook his head in response then looked suddenly alarmed, “here? Out in the open?”
“I did it in the Café didn‘t I?” Blaise gulped nervously and looked around them as if he too was fearing prying eyes. “It’s just once more, I’m sure it won’t do her any harm, if I could manage it the first time then I can do so the second time as well.”
“Wh - What?” Edna whispered fearfully what frightened her was the fact that she didn’t fully understand what they were talking about but whatever it was about it was something along the lines of making her cooperate. She only realised the stupidity of talking out after she had done so but thankfully the two men ignored her, so inch by inch she stepped backwards with her heart in her throat and her pulse beating so fast that her chest ached. She kept a wary eye on both the men but paid special attention on the blonde one, he had a dangerous feel about him … which contradicted rather with the image she had of him mere minutes ago. This came as a surprise to her, for he was neither big nor particularly vicious looking but was really tall and a little skinny with not an inch of extra fat to be seen on any part of his body. However, he had a sly looking face with intelligent, calculating cold eyes that narrowed a little too frequently in anger to be deemed handsome and a thin mouth that didn’t seem capable of smiling. She didn’t like the feel of him. Not one bit.
“Can’t you just Stun her?” the man called Blaise asked in a small nervous voice. Draco frowned and shook his head in impatience and it was in that movement that she won back his attention.
“Where ar- get her!” he screamed as she legged it as fast as her legs could carry her towards the safety of her home. The steady slapping of soles on tarmac told her that the two men were running after her and she put on a burst of speed that she didn’t know she had.
“Mum! Dad!” she screamed as she threw herself against the bright red door of number seven, “help me!” She could still hear her mother crying and heard the tell tale beep-beep of the phone which meant that her father had probably tried to contact Jonathan, or maybe even the Police. Upon hearing her voice her parents flew towards the door and began to tug against it, trying with all their might to prise it open. But it just would not open.
“Honey, let go of the handle!” Mrs Shanks pleaded.
“I’m not! Please open the door!” by now she was crying, tears dripped out of her reddened eyes distorting her vision so that all she could see was a cheery red haze that was the door and a silver blur that was probably the little knocker that they had. Then suddenly - just as she was about to open her mouth and try screaming for help - she collapsed. Just blacked out and fell with a painful thud onto the pebbled ground next to her dad’s silver Skoda.
Behind her, Draco and Blaise watched her body fall to the ground, her mouth open in a silent scream and tears still wet on her cheeks with a couple of small pebbles sticking into her soft flesh. With a subtle swish of a long thin stick that Draco had in his hand, the noise from inside number seven died out. Blaise looked around, just in case all the screaming had awoken the neighbours but thankfully not even a cat stirred, and he let out a sigh.
“I guess there’s no going back now,” a pale looking Blaise whispered as he studied the fallen figure with wide brown, slightly slanting eyes and a dry mouth.
Draco didn’t even dare look at his friend, his nerves were frayed enough without even more evidence being presented showing the illegalness of what they had just done. “You can still opt out … you know I won’t stop you - or bring you into it if I get caught,” he said emotionlessly.
Blaise smiled wryly and said without looking at him, “not going anywhere Malfoy, I know you can’t pull off something this big without me.” Then he became a lot more serious, “and besides, I know that if I was in your position … you would do the same for me.”
“You are in my bloody position,” Draco said humourlessly and he didn’t join in when Blaise laughed either nor did he comment about whether he would have helped Blaise if he had been the one who thought of this. If he had been the old Malfoy - the one with everything - then he wouldn’t have helped Blaise, he would not have wanted to risk it but with him in this situation … then, perhaps he would have.
They fell into an awkward silence, only punctuated by the steady and consistent thumping of the door from number seven, then Blaise said, “I’ll go in and take care of them.”
“No,” Draco said shaking his head. “I’ll do it,” Blaise looked ready to argue so he placated him by saying, “your spell work isn’t up to scratch yet … can’t risk them thinking they’re tables of something.” Blaise laughed and once again Draco didn’t join in. He stepped over her body, holding the long thin stick, and put his hand on the door handle.
“Draco …” Blaise called from behind him, he turned to ask what it was, “shall I take her back to the Manor?”
“Yes … but keep her out of sight and you know to Apparate at the Hilderwick’s residence don’t you?” Blaise nodded and had a look on his face that said that he had heard this a thousand times. “Then, I better go, I’ll see you at the Manor after I’m done here.” With a grim look on his face he pushed open the door, the shouting started again as the spell that had been placed on the door fell then stopped once more when the Shanks saw a strange young man at their door. Draco softly closed the door behind him, leaving Blaise and Edna alone in front of a now permanently silent number seven.
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